min read

How commercial real estate can embrace technology

It's not just about email and communication anymore. It's a fundamental revenue stream for any industry.

Is every company, a technology company? There are many articles along those lines like business publications that are trying to prove a point that you should think about technology as a way to make money, not just something that enables your traditional business models.

It's not just about email and communication anymore, it's a fundamental revenue stream for any industry. Where I see this to be most true is the real estate industry.

We've seen many examples of technology companies move into the real estate industry, but I think the biggest opportunity is the other way around, the commercial real estate sector should embrace technology and offer it as a service unlocking a new revenue stream. They're in the best position to do so. A real estate company is there for the whole lifecycle of that building, from financing all the way through to construction, tenancy services, operation, facility management, and reselling and leasing. Technology plays a part in all of those areas.

Digital twins is one technology that is across the whole lifecycle, from design to models all the way through to operation and having the same data set the whole way through. But if we think about services, that's where there's a huge opportunity for real estate companies to be providing these services.

The biggest problem is, corporate workplaces are going out to the market and finding technology from a whole number of sources, rather than getting their technology from the real estate company. The real estate company can provide the technology to the tenant as part of their lease agreement in the same way that they're providing energy or perhaps water and heating. It can be an all-inclusive deal that’s part of the tenancy.

The first place this should start is a multi-tenancy network. The network is quite often siloed in tenancies. So if you're an employee and you go from level 15 down to the lobby, you won't have access to your corporate systems or your corporate network. There's probably a different network for guests that are run by the real estate company in the lobby.

A multi-tenancy network can lead to multi-tenancy user experiences because it can bridge a whole number of things in the building. The opportunity for real estate companies to embrace these technologies is mostly untapped. Once you open this door, you can build user experience on top. This can then be provided to their tenants as a service. The tenant might pay for it per square foot of the real estate and a portion of that would be for the technology, making a truly smart building with workplace user experience at the forefront.

The real estate company can break down these silos in a unique way. No one else is primed in the market to do so.

This is only gonna happen if the real estate company makes technology the fabric of their organization, not a technology division that operates alone.

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